The Creative Hub, The Storey Meeting House Lane Lancaster, LA1 1TH

Heart of Darkness

Co-produced by Marche Teatro and Cast. Supported by Arts Council England, Lancaster Arts at Lancaster University and Theatre by the Lake.

Following the popular and critically acclaimed adaptation of Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, imitating the dog turn their attention to Joseph Conrad’s extraordinarily influential novel, Heart of Darkness.

Written more than 100 years ago, amid the optimism at the turn of a new century, it’s a tale of lies and brutal greed and of the dark heart which beats within us all. Now re-sited in a timeless Europe, in a forsaken landscape lost to the destructive lust for power, it emerges as a tale absolutely for our time.

This bold re-telling of Conrad’s classic is a visually rich, multi-layered work which fuses live performance with digital technology.

The performers enter the stage, into uncharted territory. They are adrift with a story that they know they must tell. As they wait for the turn of the tide, the story unfolds like an animated Cinemascope graphic novel on the hanging projections screens above their heads.

Their story is Conrad’s story, of the voyage into the perilous unknown. And, as we continue the journey, it becomes our story, exposing the dehumanisation that paved the way for the horrors of the 20th Century, and countless horrors yet to come.

The heart of darkness must be found. The story is impossible to tell, but it must be told.


Aberystwyth Arts Centre

16 – 17 November 2018

Birmingham Repertory Theatre

20 – 24 November 2018

Cast, Doncaster

5 – 6 March 2019

Tron Theatre, Glasgow

7 – 9 March 2019

The Dukes Lancaster

19 – 23 March 2019

Theatre by The Lake, Keswick

26 – 30 March 2019

Northern Stage, Newcastle

2 – 3 April 2019

Cornerstone Arts Centre, Didcot

4 – 6 April 2019

York Theatre Royal

9 – 10 April 2019

New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

12 – 13 April 2019

Lowry, Salford Quays

16 – 18 April 2019

Liverpool Playhouse

1 – 4 May 2019

Belgrade Theatre Coventry

8 – 11 May 2019


4 stars
“Not to be missed”
“conceptually breath-taking”
“It’s radical in every way”
“You may think you know this story, but this version, especially the ending, grips you anew”
“A hugely thought-provoking, contemporary retelling of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness”
“a thought-provoking retelling of the tale for today”
“The concept for this play is exceptional and very ambitious”
4 stars
“Meta theatre combined with some of the most creative multimedia production we’ve ever seen”
“A thing of meta-fictional beauty.”
“At times mesmeric and jaw-dropping, constructed in layers before our eyes…dizzyingly exciting stuff.”
“I can’t recommend Heart of Darkness highly enough.”
“beautifully crafted, thoughtful and ambitious performance.”
4 stars
4 stars
“A beautiful piece…”
“Be still my beating heart, this was theatre like I’ve never seen before!”
“If you want to know what theatre will be like in the future go and see imitating the dog…”


  • Adapted and Directed by Andrew Quick and Pete Brooks
  • Video and Sound Design by Simon Wainwright
  • Costume Design by Laura Hopkins
  • Lighting Design by Andrew Crofts
  • Music by Jeremy Peyton Jones
  • Sound technician – Ian Ryan
  • Assistant Costume Designer – Reggie Doherty
  • Research Collaborators: Elnathan John, Testament, Michael Greaney


  • Laura Atherton
  • Morgan Bailey
  • Keicha Greenidge
  • Morven Macbeth
  • Matt Prendergast